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Sunday, August 15, 2010


Here in Juneau, Alaska’s capital, we experienced the highlight of the ENTIRE trip, the helicopter ride to the Mendenhall Glacier. Dressing warmly, we put on the appropriate equipment—special studded boots to grab into the sleek icy surface.
helicopterThe turbine helicopter ride, my first, was exhilarating and far beyond my expectations; in fact this was something I dreaded but felt necessary. How could I come to Alaska and not helicopter to a glacier?

My smile began and my white-knuckled grip relaxed even as the helicopter left the ground, and we soared over the landscape reveling in the blues, green, whites, and blacks—all vivid and magnificent.
Mendenhall Glacier
From above we looked down on the alpine ridges and then viewed the deep crevasses and the colors of the ice. The blue is caused by the reflection of the sun on the water. We saw the ice falls where the Juneau Icefield overflows to form the Mendenhall Glacier.
from the helicopter
deep crevasses
flying to Mendenhall
from the helicopter
On the surface of the glacier, Rob looked around and proclaimed quite rightly, “This is spiritual.” Each moment was an experience in Nature’s power, artistry, and creativity.
Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall crevasses

Our guide explained how glaciers form, flow, and shape the landscape. Gingerly, I walked on the glacier while Rob straddled and photographed a crevasse.
Rob on Mendenhall

The water moving through the crevasses looked like Nature’s own monumental waterslide—a beautiful, natural flow of blue through the white ice and the lines of silt.
Mendenhall Crevass
mendenhall crevasses

Enjoy the images I’ve captured to tweak my memory and to share with you.
from the air

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